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Ghandi and the Gospel
10 August 2014
Last month, a Messianic Jewish leader in Israel referred to, and quoted from, Ghandi in one of his newsletters:
In 1940 the Indian advocate of non-violence Mahatma Gandhi wrote an open letter "To Every Briton" offering his sage advice to Winston Churchill, the Queen [ed: I think he meant king] and everyone in between on how to deal with the Nazi menace:Wow! I was SO excited and astonished to read this quote from Ghandi. In this short excerpt, he perfectly captures the essence of the teachings of Yeshua (Jesus) and the entire New Testament. I said to myself, "FINALLY! Here is a Christian leader who wants to turn away from demonic "Christian" violence and stand upon what the New Testament REALLY teaches!"
"I hope you do not wish to enter into such an undignified competition with the Nazis. I venture to present you with a nobler and a braver way, worthy of the bravest soldier. I want you to fight Nazism without arms, or, if I am to retain the military terminology, with non-violent arms. I would like you to lay down the arms you have as being useless for saving you or humanity. You will invite Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini to take what they want of the countries you call your possessions. Let them take possession of your beautiful island, with your many beautiful buildings. You will give all these, but neither your souls, nor your minds. If these gentlemen choose to occupy your homes, you will vacate them. If they do not give you free passage out, you will allow yourself, man, woman and child, to be slaughtered, but you will refuse to owe allegiance to them. This process or method, which I have called non-violent non-co-operation, is not without considerable success in its use in India. Your representatives in India may deny my claim. If they do, I shall feel sorry for them." (Open letter, "To Every Briton", New Delhi, 2 July 1940).
So imagine my total shock and utter dismay when I read the next paragraph which this Messianic leader wrote after the quote from Ghandi:
In many senses, this is the position held by the U.N., the E.U., the Quartet and its smiling envoy Tony Blair, and even some in the State Department. Thankfully, Mahatma Gandhi's free advice was not followed by the Allies in WWII. Otherwise no Jewish people would have ever survived the Holocaust. Israel is in no mood to repeat colossal foolishness and follow such frivolous and disastrous counsel in our day.After my initial excitement, I was suddenly crushed! I felt like someone had punched me in the gut and knocked all of the breath out of my lungs. For a moment I just sat there in stunned disbelief. As I slowly came back to my senses, I realized that I shouldn't be amazed by this leader's position, because he is completely under the same blindness and deception which has ruled Christendom for the past 1,700 years.
OK, here's what I'm asking you to do: put away your preconceived ideas, then take Ghandi's quote above, and compare it to the teachings of Yeshua. If you do so with an open mind, I think that you will find that there is an almost EXACT match! It's really quite astonishing! In his own words, Ghandi is explaining to all those living in Britain how they can practically live out the teachings of Yeshua in their particular circumstances. The non-Christian Ghandi sure understood Yeshua's teachings a lot better than this "Christian" leader and most of the rest of Christendom.
So for this Messianic leader to call the teachings of Yeshua, as communicated by Ghandi, "colossal foolishness and frivolous and disastrous counsel" is simply scandalous and shocking beyond belief! What gospel is he embracing? It sure doesn't seem to be the Gospel of Yeshua! Instead, he would rather see Yeshua in the IDF, blasting all the "enemies" of Israel with His assault rifle, thereby dispatching them to Hell for eternity! Such a slanderous depiction of Yeshua is totally disgusting and makes me sick!!!
Also, his claim that without "Christians" using demonic violence against the Nazis, no Jews would have survived the Holocaust is merely sensationalism used to justify his non-New-Testament worldview. What?! Is God's arm so short that He cannot save His chosen people except by the satanically-inspired violence of mankind? Read the entire chapter of Isaiah 59 — it's really applicable to what I am saying right here. Notice the language the prophet uses in this passage:
Your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.... For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt.Isn't this an eerily-accurate description of humanity during World War II? And isn't it just as applicable in our own day? Read it and weep!
No one calls for justice; no one pleads a case with integrity. They rely on empty arguments, they utter lies; they conceive trouble and give birth to evil.
Their deeds are evil deeds, and acts of violence are in their hands. Their feet rush into sin; they are swift to shed innocent blood. They pursue evil schemes; acts of violence mark their ways. The way of peace they do not know; there is no justice in their paths. They have turned them into crooked roads; no one who walks along them will know peace.
So justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us. We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows. Like the blind we grope along the wall, feeling our way like people without eyes. At midday we stumble as if it were twilight; among the strong, we are like the dead.
For our offenses are many in Your sight, and our sins testify against us.... rebellion and treachery against Yahweh, turning our backs on our God, inciting revolt and oppression, uttering lies our hearts have conceived. So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter. Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.
Yahweh looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one, He was appalled that there was no one to intervene....
Such a belief about God — that He is unable to protect Jews except through human violence — is naïve, dangerous, slanderous, and even bordering on blasphemous! I have a lot more to say about the Jews and the Holocaust, and about "Christians" and World War II, but now is not the time — it will all have to wait for future articles.
Of course, one day — The Day of the Lord — King Yeshua will return to the earth with great violence and set up His Millennial Kingdom. But until we arrive at the full measure of sin, we are still in the year of God's favor, and we remain citizens of a non-violent, spiritual Kingdom which is not of this world.
Well, back to Ghandi and the Gospel. Inspired and intrigued by what he wrote to the Britons, I decided to find and read the entire letter. It is such an excellent recounting of Yeshua's teachings, with practical application, that I will share the letter in its entirety here:
To Every Briton,For my own part, when I think about my articles on this Web site I can really identify with Ghandi. In sympathy with — and admiration of — what he wrote, I echo his words and make them my own:
In 1896 I addressed an appeal to every Briton in South Africa on behalf of my countrymen who had gone there as labourers or traders and their assistants. It had its effect. However important it was from my viewpoint, the cause which I pleaded then was insignificant compared with the cause which prompts this appeal. I appeal to every Briton, wherever he may be now, to accept the method of non-violence instead of that of war for the adjustment of relations between nations and other matters. Your statesmen have declared that this a war on behalf of democracy. There are many other reason given in justification. You know them all by heart. I suggest that at the end of the war, whichever way it ends, there will be no democracy left to represent democracy. This war has descended upon mankind as a curse and a warning. It is a curse inasmuch as it is brutalizing man on a scale hitherto unknown. All distinctions between combatants and noncombatants have been abolished. No one and nothing is to be spared. Lying has been reduced to an art. Britain was to defend small nationalities. One by one they have vanished, at least for the time being. It is also a warning. It is a warning that, if nobody reads the writing on the wall, man will be reduced to the state of the beast, whom he is shaming by his manners. I read the writing when the hostilities broke out. But I had not the courage to say the word. God has given me the courage to say it before it is too late.
I appeal for cessation of hostilities, not because you are too exhausted to fight, but because war is bad in essence. You want to kill Nazism. You will never kill it by its indifferent adoption. Your soldiers are doing the same work of destruction as the Germans. The only difference is that perhaps yours are not as thorough as the Germans. If that be so, yours will soon acquire the same thoroughness as theirs, if not much greater. On no other condition can you win the war. In other words, you will have to be more ruthless than the Nazis. No cause, however just, can warrant the indiscriminate slaughter that is going on minute by minute. I suggest that a cause that demands the inhumanities that are being perpetrated today cannot be called just.
I do not want Britain to be defeated, nor do I want her to be victorious in a trial of brute strength, whether expressed through the muscle or the brain. Your muscular bravery is an established fact. Need you demonstrate that your brain is also as unrivalled in destructive power as your muscle? I hope you do not wish to enter into such an undignified competition with the Nazis. I venture to present you with a nobler and a braver way, worthy of the bravest soldier. I want you to fight Nazism without arms, or, if I am to retain the military terminology, with non-violent arms. I would like you to lay down the arms you have as being useless for saving you or humanity. You will invite Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini to take what they want of the countries you call your possessions. Let them take possession of your beautiful island, with your many beautiful buildings. You will give all these, but neither your souls, nor your minds. If these gentlemen choose to occupy your homes, you will vacate them. If they do not give you free passage out, you will allow yourself, man, woman and child, to be slaughtered, but you will refuse to owe allegiance to them.
This process or method, which I have called non-violent non-co-operation, is not without considerable success in its use in India. Your representatives in India may deny my claim. If they do, I shall feel sorry for them. They may tell you that our non-co-operation was not wholly non-violent, that it was born of hatred. If they give that testimony, I won't deny it. Had it been wholly non-violent, if all the non-co-operators had been filled with goodwill towards you, I make bold to say that you who are India's masters would have become her pupils and, with much greater skill than we have, perfected this matchless weapon and met the German and Italian friends' menace with it. Indeed the history of Europe during the past few months would then have been written differently. Europe would have been spared seas of innocent blood, the rape of so many small nations, and the orgy of hatred.
This is no appeal made by a man who does not know his business. I have been practising with scientific precision non-violence and its possibilities for an unbroken period of over fifty years. I have applied it in every walk of life, domestic, institutional, economic and political. I know of no single case in which it has failed. Where it has seemed sometimes to have failed, I have ascribed it to my imperfections. I claim no perfection for my self. But I do claim to be a passionate seeker after Truth, which is but another name for God. In the course of the search the discovery of non-violence came to me. Its spread is my life-mission. I have no interest in living except for the prosecution of that mission.
I claim to have been a lifelong and wholly disinterested friend of the British people. At one time I used to be also a lover of your empire. I thought that it was doing good to India. When I saw that in the nature of things it could do no good, I used, and am still using, the non-violent method to fight imperialism. Whatever the ultimate fate of my country, my love for you remains, and will remain, undiminished. My non-violence demands universal love, and you are not a small part of it. It is that love which has prompted my appeal to you.
May God give power to every word of mine. In His name I began to write this, and in His name I close it. May your statesman have the wisdom and courage to respond to my appeal. I am telling His Excellency the Viceroy that my services are at the disposal of His Majesty's Government, should they consider them of any practical use in advancing the object of my appeal.
Mohandas K. Gandhi
New Delhi, July 2, 1940
I had not the courage to say the word. God has given me the courage to say it before it is too late.... My non-violence demands universal love.... It is that love which has prompted my appeal to you.... May God give power to every word of mine. In His name I began to write this, and in His name I close it.
This article is 18th a series of articles on this Web site related to Exploring New Testament Realities which also includes (scroll to see the entire list):
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